Changing the world means changing ourselves

October 4, 2016

Change. Which change is needed in the world? Thousands. Better access to education. No poverty. Sustainable development. Gender equality. Peace. I could go on till the end of this page or even farther. How to achieve that? This question bothers me way more. After several years working in the changemaking sector I think that the only change we really have to endeavor is within ourselves. In each and every one of us. I don’t believe in hero-changemakers, I don’t believe in governments, global leaders. I believe in the actions of common citizens, the actions you and me can do. To make any real change in the world each of us need to become changemaker, a person which notices and understands problems around and, above all, is able to react. We need each of us to ban those plastic bags, give one hour of our time every week or every month to voluntary work, to visit orphan house, to help immigrants with learning the local language, to clean the nearby forest or make shopping for an older neighbor. How to achieve that? A basic thing – education. We need an education system which, first of all, increases awareness and allows people to notice how the world is working, which global dependencies rule the world, what is the real cause of the problems we observe around. Secondly, an education system that empowers people, that encourages young and adults to take action, not only to discuss about them. An education focused on being useful, instead of “learning for ourselves”. What is the goal of our being in the world? A lot of people say happiness; others to leave something behind. For me in both cases we speak about the same. I think that without being useful we cannot achieve real happiness and fulfillment. Without leaving this world better than we found it. After making interviews with more than hundred changemakers I see clearly that it’s one of the few groups of people which can say: Yes, I’m happy. My life has a meaning. I look in the eyes of the people I support and I know I couldn’t do it otherwise.

 

Every interview finishes with the question: What is it needed for changing the world? Nobody answered money. Nobody mentioned history or mathematic. Neither they referred to connections. They spoke of empathy. Collaboration. Passion. Awareness. Listening to others. Constant learning, also from our own mistakes. Patience. And the last thing they said: do it. Just do it. Today, right now. You don’t have to change the whole world. Start from small things, but start. The only way to change the world is to act together, from now. Whatever change means to you. Look around. Stop. Notice those people you are surrounded by. Listen. Go deeply inside yourself. And start changing.

 

 

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We are Anna and Andrea, a Polish-Italian couple traveling around the world. We are looking for changemakers,  in order to describe and share their stories.

Our journey is based on exchange: story telling and other skills in exchange for a place to sleep and food. 
 

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